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OmicroThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Jan 27, 2019, 8:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

Oops...

"10% the speed of light" should have been "20% the speed of light". Da*n traffic...
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OmicroThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Jan 27, 2019, 8:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

The distance that would be required to fool our own best ground-based telescopes (which can resolve about 1 second of arc) would be roughly 800 million miles.

That would put our light-source near the orbit of Saturn. That's really far away, but if the sail can maneuver at relativistic speeds, it is perfectly doable. It would take just above 6 hours to reach the desired target location at 10% the speed of light.
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OmicroThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Jan 27, 2019, 7:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

@Dave in MN

But wouldn't the discovery that the star is fake serve to MAINTAIN the (earlier) status-quo? I guess it depends on how much momentum the new "everything's gonna change now" vibe gathered in their culture.

At any rate, I don't think such information could be kept secret on this planet for long. These people are masters of creating accurate star charts, and they actually use these charts in their daily lives to do their astrology.

So IF the discrepancy can be detected at all, everybody will know about it once people from different continents start sharing their updated charts. There will be one star (which "just happens" to be the most important star in their mythology) whose position in the map would depend on your location.

You simply can't hide something like that, from a people who are practically *obsessed* with star mapping.

An interesting question, though, is whether these people would actually understand the implications of the evidence.

Given the mythical quality they give the stars, I guess they won't. They would probably regard the positional anomaly as an omen of some kind. Hopefully, their interpretation of it would be something positive. Perhaps something to go along with that nice "everything's gonna change for the better now" vibe they've had since the "star" magically re-appeared.
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OmicroThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Jan 27, 2019, 10:47am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

@Dougie

"I feel my writing on past episodes and last episode especially related to the Shaktal (I prefer my spelling) was quite exacting."

In the last episode - definitely.

Which proves that you certainly have the ability to discuss the actual episodes intelligently, when you want to.

However, this week, for some odd reason, you've chosen to revert again to your usual snarky remarks that have zero relevance. First accusing some commenters of being "sentinels" without any good reason, and then continuing to snark the episode itself without providing a single actual point of criticism.

Sorry, but that's not cool.

If you think the writers and the actors goofed so badly, then by all means: explain why. What *are* these glaring flaws that appall you so much? What did the writers do wrong? What did the actors do wrong? Make relevant commentary, rather than carte-blanche statements.
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OmicroThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Jan 27, 2019, 9:05am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: New Eden

"Star Trek is a franchise owned by companies to make money with cultural products. And with that product they try to make as much as possible. What's your point? "

That was precisely his point. :-)


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OmicroThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Jan 27, 2019, 8:59am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

Oh,I forgot this:

"And what's more, the episode doesn't buy it either. In the final scene, Ed is being asked what happens once the Regorians figure out they were duped, and he admits it's a problem"

Once the locals develop interplanetary travel, the jig will obviously be up.

I do think that Mercer and co. truly believed that the deception would hold up until that point. And yes, I quite agree that he created a huge mess down there in the long run. Reminds me of all the times that one James T. Kirk did similar things on backwards planets he promptly forgot about at the end of the episode...


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OmicroThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Jan 27, 2019, 8:47am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

@Lynos
"If I'm not mistaken, today on Earth we have very powerful telescopes that are able to discern such things. Mass can be calculated."

Actually, no.

A telescope *might* be able to resolve a featureless disc, but such a disc isn't any more difficult to fake than a point.

As for mass:

As someone who majored in physics I can tell you that there's absolutely no way to measure the mass of a solitary star. Astrophysicists *infer* the mass of stars by their color and their brightness.

This educated guess will usually be accurate, IF the object in question is indeed a star. But if some alien civilization decided to place a lightbulb with the same color and same brightness at the same position in the sky, we would have no way to tell the difference.

To be fair, though, there *is* one possible way for the locals to detect the fakery: Parallax. A nearby reflection, unlike an actual star, would move slightly against the background of the true stars, depending on when you're standing on the planet (there would also be a similar effect due the planet going around its sun, but this could be easily negated by moving the image in the opposite direction).

The question of whether this will actually be detectable, depends on the distance of the fake image from the planet. If it's more than few billion kilometers away, then no ground-based telescope would be able to measure this effect, due to atomspheric interference.

On the other hand, if it's more than a few billion kilometers away, it will take many hours for the light of the "star" to reach the surface of the planet, and these are precious hours that the Orville crew simply didn't have.

So their best bet, it seems, would be to deploy the sail near the planet to get a near-instant image, and then gradually move the sail to a further position. If the sail moves at near-light speeds, the whole process will only take a few hours. Even if the locals do manage to detect the parallax during that time, they will regard that measurement as a fluke because it won't be repeatable.

Now, I highly doubt that Seth McFarlane actually thought of all this. But it does work rather nicely.
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OmicroThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Jan 27, 2019, 6:53am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

@Dan Bolger

Can't argue with that. :-)

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OmicroThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Jan 27, 2019, 1:54am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

@SlackerInc

"I would predict that if one were to analyze the ratings in detail, one would find that average made up of more very high and very low ratings than the typical episode."

IMDB already does that automatically:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7826036/ratings?ref_=tt_ql_op_4

(you can get to this page of an episode/movie by clicking the "More..." tab and then clicking "User Ratings")

At a glance, it doesn't look that different from the graph of any other Orville Episode. It's just skewed a little to the lower numbers (less 10's and 9's, more 1's and 2's).
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OmicroThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Jan 27, 2019, 1:41am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

@Dougie
"Lol this episode is so aptly named. It’s the writers’ Let Them Eat Cake episode to us. They clearly do not give a crap and will serve up anything. The fact that the actors will paycheck it validates me. I felt the adhd I had as a child coming back. +1 anyone who rejects this including Orville advertisers, they should complain for treating the audience this way."

Great... Another snide remark that has exactly zero content relating to actual episode.


@Lynos
"I find it hard to believe that a society which is technologically advanced and supposedly not made out of morons who live in caves will assume that EVERYBODY in the whole wide universe follows their own astrological dogma. What are they basing this assumption on?"

Ah, but they don't *see* it as dogma. To them, it's just the way the universe works. You'd expect advanced aliens to know how the universe works, right?

Personally I found their reasons to be quite clear, even without that throwaway line. I guess YMMV.

"Also, for the love of god, this civilization has giant satellite dishes. They have computers. They have advanced hospitals. I'm POSITIVE someone on the planet is in the possession of a freakin' telescope. Ed's trick would be exposed in two seconds."

How do you propose to tell the difference between a fake star and a real star with a telescope? With both, the only thing you'll see is a dot of light.

@SlackerInc
"It's interesting. On this site, this episode definitely qualifies as "polarizing". But the IMDb rating, representing thousands of people and usually a fairly good indication of the widespread audience, has this (as I noted upthread) at 8.6, higher than any other episode. That suggests it's not at all polarizing for most viewers."

Check the IMDB ratings for this episode again. You're in for a surprise...

I confirm that they WERE 8.6 at some point. But they aren't any more. Apparently the Episode is just a polarizing there as it is here.

And honestly, there's absolutely no reason for IMDB ratings to be aligned with the ratings on this site.

First of all, the number of people who responded here are a tiny sample. Any statitician can tell you that a sample this size can't be used to prove anything.

Secondly and more importantly, IMDB allows people to give a star-rating without saying anything. In fact, over 90% of the people who rate a typical episode/movie on that site don't post a review. So I'm sure plenty of people post 10-star or 1-star ratings for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with the episode.

And I do have to agree with Dougie for once: The ratings on IMDB do seem to be manipulated. How else would you explain a decline form 8.6 to 7.7 in single day? Doesn't tell us the direction of the manipulation, though.

To me, a far more interesting indicator to how the Orville is doing, are the TV ratings that FOX gets for it. These are much more difficult to manipulate. And so far, it is doing fine: A constant viewership of 3 million live, and roughly double that number for the DVR+3 ratings.

(the really amazing thing is that the debut of Discovery S2, which airs at exactly the same time, had absolutely no effect on the Orville's ratings. Kinda tells you everything you need to know about the relative popularity of these two shows)
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